Failing Infrastructure: How bad is it?
We started this segment with a clip from
J.P. Unger describing what happened to him when he was driving along an Ottawa highway earlier this month. His car suddenly plunged into a sinkhole. It was completely unexpected and terrifying, but he was alive. Then, a horrifying thought tore through his mind.
The very first country-wide report card on municipal infrastructure warns sinkholes, corroded bridges, rusty pipes and crumbling overpasses -- are all poised to ambush Canadians.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities says the country's infrastructure faces a bleak future unless more than 150 billion dollars is spent on fixing the roads and water systems. According to the report, more than half of city-owned roads need major repairs and almost one quarter of waste water systems need billions for upkeep.
Canada's aging and overworked infrastructure is falling through jurisdictional cracks.
With more on this we were joined by two people who worked on the infrastructure report card.
We invited Denis Lebel, Canada's Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to be a part of this discussion today but he wasn't available. His department did send us a statement - part of which says that the feds are "taking the time now to work with our partners and identify the principles for our next long-term infrastructure plan that will support Canada's growth and prosperity."
We ask you to send us stories about infrastructure fails in your area, and we were ... um ... flooded with responses.
Maxine Adshead of Cranbrook, BC wrote:
We have lived at our current address for the past 21 years. During that time there has been breaks in the water lines under the street, out side our home, on an average of 2 times a year. This means that we often awaken to the water being shut off. This interferes with routine hydration and hygiene needs. Most of the neighbours including my family have resorted to storing water for emergency situations.
And Kathy Brower of Edmonton writes:
Our neighbourhood - front and back yards full of water, water on city street submerged vehicles, basements flooded with up to four feet of water, my car in my garage which is up a hundred foot driveway was written off as we had a foot and a half of water in the garage. I have a picture of my daughters car parked on the street in front of our house - it had water up to the top of the windows as did several other vehicles parked on the street. Our property was totally submerged in water, as was that of many of our neighbours - it was unbelievable and what was even more unbelievable was to hear the Drainage Department say that the drainage system is working fine!
This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins & Sujata Berry.
Last Word - Rick Mercer Speaker of the House
The fall session of Parliament opens today. Rick once tried out as Speaker of the House during a model parliament with Queen's University students. But first he got some tips from a real speaker. Rick Mercer gets today's last Word.
Other segments from today's show: